Roast Squab with Honey-Orange Gremolata

Squab is a versatile game bird that should become a regular part of anyone’s menu. Squab has darker meat than domestic poultry, with a very delicate flavor, and subtle richness that combines well with fruits. This recipe from Tony Caggiano brings together a bit of sweetness, and crisp skin prepared to juicy doneness that pairs perfectly with the bright flavors of the gremolata.
Roast Squab with Honey-Orange Gremolata

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh parsley - minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • zest of 1 orange (reserve orange, cut into 8ths)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • 4 squab
  • additional tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

FOR GREMOLATA

  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • red pepper flakes (to taste)

Preparation

  1. Make the gremolata. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add red pepper flakes to taste; even a little bit will make the flavor of the gremolata come alive.
  3. Stir again to combine. Add more oil as needed, to get desired consistency. The gremolata can be made beforehand and refrigerated, as it gets even better with a bit of time.
  4. Heat oven to 450 F.
  5. Rinse the squab, inside and out, under cold running water. Pat dry and set aside.
  6. In a large glass mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and whisk well to combine.
  7. Mix together butter, parsley, honey, orange zest, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper until smooth. Divide into 4 even portions.
  8. Using your fingers, carefully loosen the skin of the squabs around the breast and legs.
  9. Insert a portion of the butter mixture under the skin of the squab, layering it on the breast meat and between the legs.
  10. Place an orange section inside the body cavity of each squab.
  11. Tie the legs of each squab together with kitchen string. Then repeat with each squab.
  12. Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
  13. Add the remaining butter and the olive oil to the hot pan.
  14. Add the squab and brown on all sides.
  15. Turn squab breast up and place the pan in the hot oven.
  16. Roast for 15 minutes and then check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer.
  17. Cook to 145 degrees, then remove squab from oven, place on a platter, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  18. Place one squab on each plate, and top with a generous portion of honey-orange gremolata.

Related Articles